Homeless Advocacy Policy Project

The Cost of Criminalizing Homelessness


Citing and jailing people for living outside carries a significant cost to taxpayers. HAPP analyzed the direct costs cities incur enforcing anti-homeless laws, adjudicating citations, and jailing people convicted of these offenses. The Colorado cities that regularly enforce these ordinances do so at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

Section V. of Too High A Price explores what Colorado cities spend on enforcing anti-homeless ordinances. Appendix C of Too High A Price describes the methodology used to estimate these costs. The following charts provide a breakdown of the cost estimates of enforcement of selected anti-homeless ordinances by city, by ordinance, and by year:


Sturm College of Law
University of Denver
2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208